How Smoking Harms the Skin
When we breathe in, we take in oxygen which moves from the tiny air sacs in the lungs into arterial blood. When we eat, the digestive system breaks down the food into nutrients and waste products and the nutrients are absorbed into arterial blood.
The heart pumps arterial blood throughout the body and oxygen and nutrients are thus taken to all organs including the skin. The skin is our largest organ. Its cells absorb the oxygen and nutrients and this supports and enhances life.
Breathing Smoke In
Cigarette smoke contains a long list of harmful substances. Carbon monoxide is one, and it is highly toxic. The safest homes have carbon monoxide detectors because this gas is odorless and colorless. Sometimes people commit suicide by closing themselves in the garage and running their vehicle’s engine. The carbon monoxide from the exhaust kills them.
Carbon monoxide is absorbed by the blood 200 times faster than oxygen, which causes it to displace oxygen. The entire body is then starved for oxygen and gradually poisoned by carbon monoxide.
Cigarette smoke also contains many more harmful substances:
- Prussic acid
- Hydrogen cyanide
These poisons put a heavy burden on the liver which has to absorb and expel them. The skin becomes yellowish-gray, losing its healthy glow.
Loss of Vitamin C
Cigarettes use Vitamin C at the rate of about 35 mg per cigarette. The body cannot produce Vitamin C and depends on food or supplement intake for adequate supplies of it.
One of the jobs Vitamin C does is to preserve the skin’s collagen which provides support for the skin surface, keeping it smooth. Lack of Vitamin C hastens the breakdown of this collagen support matrix so that the skin subsides into the gaps and wrinkles become visible. Some are even called “smokers’ lines”.
In view of all these serious disadvantages of smoking, you would be doing yourself a great favor if you gave the habit up. Why not use that money instead on some good face care products or even on a facial or a series of facial filler treatments? Please contact our cosmetic surgery office for a free consultation.
Dr. Vasdev Rai
Dr. Vasdev Rai has performed more than 25,000 cosmetic surgeries over his more than 30 years in practice as a Dallas plastic surgeon. He is a board-certified plastic surgeon who was first certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1983. Learn More...
Dr. Surjit Rai
Dr. Surjit Rai was born and raised in Plano, Texas. Being the son of a plastic surgeon, Dr. Rai had the unique opportunity to see first-hand the impact a plastic surgeon can have. He knew at a young age that he would dedicate his life and academic career towards the goal of becoming a plastic surgeon. Learn More...